- The Securities Industry Act (SIA 1995) was proclaimed in 1997, ushering in a new regime in the securities market in Trinidad and Tobago and giving birth to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“the Commission”).
- In December 2012 the SIA 1995 was repealed and replaced by the Securities Act (SA 2012) “an Act to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; foster fair and efficient securities markets and confidence in the securities industry in Trinidad and Tobago; to reduce systemic risk and for other related matters”.
- Our vision is “To be an effective regulator fostering confidence in the securities industry.”
- Our mission is “To protect investors, promote and enable the growth and development of the securities industry by nurturing fair, efficient and transparent securities markets, cooperating with other regulators and mitigating systemic risk.”
The functions of the Commission as stipulated in Section 6 of the Act are to:
- Advise the Honourable Minister of Finance on all matters related to the securities industry;
- Maintain surveillance over the securities market and ensure orderly, fair and equitable dealings in securities;
- Register, authorise or regulate self-regulatory organizations and market actors with a view to maintaining proper standards of conduct and professionalism in the securities industry;
- Regulate and supervise the timely, accurate, fair and efficient disclosure of information to the securities industry and the investing public;
- Conduct such inspections and examinations of self-regulatory organizations, broker-dealers, registered representatives, underwriters, issuers and investment advisers;
- Protect the integrity of securities markets against abuses arising from market manipulation, insider trading, conflicts of interest and unfair or improper practices;
- Educate and promote an understanding by the public of the securities industry and the benefits, risks and liabilities associated with investing in securities;
- Cooperate with and provide assistance to regulatory authorities in Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere;
- Ensure compliance with the Proceeds of Crime Act and any other written law in relation to the prevention of money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism; and
- Create and promote such conditions as may seem necessary to ensure the orderly growth and development of the capital market;
- Cooperate with other jurisdictions in the development of a fair and efficient securities industry
- Assess, measure and evaluate risk exposure in the securities industry.
In order to carry out the foregoing functions, the Commission has the power, under Section 7 of the Act, to:
- Formulate principles for the guidance of the securities industry;
- Treat with such matters as may be referred to it by any person from time to time;
- Register and regulate market actors in accordance with this Act;
- Monitor the solvency of registrants, securities markets and self-regulatory organizations and take measures to protect the interest of investors where the solvency of any such person is in doubt;
- Adopt measures to supervise and minimize any conflict of interest that may arise in the case of registrants or self-regulatory organizations and where appropriate, other market actors;
- Review, approve and regulate takeovers, amalgamations and all forms of business combinations in accordance with this Act or any other written law in all cases in which it considers it expedient or appropriate to do so;
- Review the contents of prospectuses and issue receipts therefor, and review any form of solicitation, advertisement or announcement by which securities are proposed to be distributed;
- Take enforcement action against any person for failing to comply with this Act;
- Recommend By-Laws to the Minister
- Formulate, prepare and publish notices, guidelines, bulletins and policies describing the views of the Commission regarding the interpretation, application or enforcement of this Act;
- Make orders;
- Monitor the risk exposure of registrants and self-regulatory organisations and take measures to protect the interest of investors, clients, members and the securities industry;
- Undertake such other activities as are necessary or expedient for giving full effect to this Act; and
- Do all things, and take all actions, which may be necessary, expedient, incidental or conducive to the discharge of any of its functions and the exercise of its powers under this Act.
It is important to note that the Commission, however, does not evaluate the merits or de-merits of any investment but seeks to ensure that sufficient information is available for an investor to make an informed decision.
The Commission has developed and issued guidelines (in consultation with market participants) in a number of areas in order to strengthen the regulation of the market and to keep pace with its development. During the period 2008 and continuing in 2009, the Commission succeeded in creating for the first time, a regime for the regulation of the mutual fund industry which has grown exponentially without any regulation at all.
Most recently, in 2012 the Commission launched the following Guidelines:
- Guidelines for Repurchase Agreements (Repos)
- Guidelines for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT)
With the passage of the Securities Act 2012, the Commission intends to amend, consult and then re-issue the revised Guidelines in consultation with the market. Additional Guidelines which will be relevant to the market and its regulation, will also be drafted and issued in consultation with the market.
The Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE) has undertaken several initiatives geared towards improving the stock market infrastructure. These include among other things:
- The establishment of a central depository, the Trinidad and Tobago Central Depository (TTCD) in 2003 which has served to create a more efficient and modernized system for the clearing and settlement of securities transactions. With the introduction of the TTCD, Trinidad and Tobago moved away from a paper-based, manual system of settling securities transactions to a computerized book-entry system;
- The implementation of electronic trading on March 18, 2005;
- The introduction of a bond trading platform for Government bonds (GORTT) on January 28, 2008;
- The move from a 3-day to 5-day trading week on April 1, 2008
- The amendment of TTSE Rule 227 resulting in Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) being adopted as the method for determining the closing price of listed securities. With VWAP, the closing price is calculated as the total value of shares traded in the day divided by the total volume of shares traded in the same trading day. If there are no trades in the security, the closing price will be the same as the closing price of the previous day. The change to VWAP took effect from June 6, 2011;
- The execution of the Caribbean Exchanges Network (CXN) Access Agreement on June 20, 2011. As a party to the CXN Access Agreement, the TTSE has agreed to allow brokers/traders registered in Jamaica and Barbados to trade on the TTSE, subject to them meeting the registration requirements of the Commission and operating in accordance with the TTSE Rules and the securities laws of Trinidad & Tobago. Similarly, local brokers/traders can register in Jamaica and Barbados and trade on their respective Exchanges.
- A Corporate Bond Market and a USD trading platform have been introduced which have thus far been used to list USD preference shares (SFCP) and mutual funds (BBLF).
The Securities Act, 2012, allowed for the expansion of the Board of Commissioners to no more than nine (9) nor fewer than five (5) members including the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman, an attorney at law of at least ten (10) years standing and a representative from the Ministry of Finance. Commissioners can hold office for a period not exceeding three years and are eligible for re-appointment. The first Board of Commissioners was appointed in April 1997.
Organizational Structure as at December, 2020
Levels 22-23, Tower D
International Waterfront Centre
1 Wrightson Road
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Telephone: 868 624-2991/223-2991
Our fax numbers are:
- For Registration matters- 868 624-8232
- For Investigation matters- 868 627-0600
- For Enforcement matters- 868 624-2995